LSU will take any bit of good news it can get on the injury front these days.
MRI results show Bryce Jordan’s knee injury isn’t as severe as initially feared, a relieved LSU coach Paul Mainieri said Monday. He’ll likely miss this week with a bone bruise, but it’s not the season-ending injury it appeared to be when Jordan left Friday night’s loss to Texas A&M.
“Good news actually,” Mainieri said. “The doctor said he has so little meniscus left in his knee that there’s really nothing to tear. Anyway there’s no tear, which is what we feared. The doctors think it’s just a bad bone bruise … He’s certainly not going to be out the rest of the year.”
Jordan re-injured the knee when he collided with the Texas A&M first baseman at the bag on Friday night. Jordan was hustling down the line on a ground ball when an off-line throw pulled the first baseman into the base line. He remained in the game for the final inning but was in obvious discomfort.
LSU feared the worst because it’s the same knee that he’s had surgery on twice, including the one that kept him out all of last season.
Mainieri said the junior is “very doubtful” to play in any of LSU’s four games this week because the knee is still quite tender, but the diagnosis is certainly more encouraging than the alternative.
“He can’t really do much, but it’s good to know there’s not any structural damage,” the coach said. “It’s something that should heal in time. He just needs some time. The scan doesn’t lie, so there’s no tear there.”
Everyone feared the worst when Jordan left the game in College Station. Both of Jordan’s parents and his twin brother, Beau, had tears in their eyes in the dugouts after the game.
“It was terrible,” Beau Jordan said of the scene. “He’d worked his butt off to get back with the team. Him sitting out last year, that wasn’t easy on him last year, but he was at almost every game. Finally seeing him get back out here and having fun, so that was scary.”
Bryce saw the doctor Monday afternoon shortly before LSU took to the practice field. Beau tried to phone his brother and got no answer at first, but Bryce texted him back soon thereafter to share the relief that his season is not over.
“It was definitely really good to hear the good news,” Beau said.
LSU has now sustained injuries to three of its four starting infielders this season. Bryce Jordan has made 19 of his 23 starts at first base and also serves as an emergency catcher. He’s hitting .292 this season with two home runs and 17 RBI.
Backup catcher Nick Coomes was working at first base before practice Monday as LSU looks for more options to fill in during Jordan’s absence. Coomes started 30 games at first base last season and said he could slide in there without a problem despite not playing the position yet this season.
It’s indicative of how LSU’s season has gone that an injury that’ll keep a good hitter out of the lineup for a week can be perceived as good news, but such is life for Mainieri and his MASH unit at the moment.